Jurors get full day on Kiska’s death
Posted: 04/18/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Justin Leighty
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Tyrice J. Halliburton (Photo Supplied)
They also learned that about an hour later, a few blocks away in Bristol, Kiska’s 4-year-old daughter found her mom’s body in their apartment, her heart no longer beating.
Kiska died a brutal death, the victim of more than 50 cuts and stab wounds.
Testifying in the murder trial of Kiska’s neighbor, Tyrice Halliburton, Ford detailed her brief interaction with Kiska the afternoon of March 18, 2008. “She came up and gave me a hug and said that she was sorry,” said Ford, whose day care center watched Kiska’s daughter, Natalie.
An hour later, a resident of another apartment at 1305 W. Vistula saw Natalie carrying her baby brother, only a few months old. That resident, Vicki McClain, brought the children into her apartment, she said. When she asked what was going on, Natalie “said, ‘My mom is hurt,’” McClain said. “She said, ‘My mom is bleeding,’” so McClain called 911.
Bristol Marshal Mike Swallow got there in two minutes and asked Natalie where she lived. However, McClain said, “she said she didn’t want to go back there.”
When she was coaxed to the building, “she wouldn’t let go of my hand the entire time,” McClain said. Natalie pointed to the right apartment, but then dragged McClain back outside.
Swallow found the 23-year-old woman on the floor. “Her face was covered in blood. There was also a large wound in the side of her neck,” he said.
Dr. Joseph Prahlow conducted the autopsy. “In this case there were so many that I could not get a definite, exact count, but there were in excess of 50.”
Two wounds showed where the knife was plunged clear through her arm. One broke the young woman’s skull beneath her brain. Her face had cuts, she had stab wounds up and down her torso and she had knife wounds to her hands.
She also had blunt-force wounds, Prahlow testified.
Bristol’s chief deputy, Mike Albin, testified about the evidence they collected, and jurors saw nearly 100 photos and items Tuesday before ending the day with a trip to the scene of the crime and to Ford’s day care center.
Albin testified that blood was found on the balcony behind Kiska’s second-floor apartment — a balcony next to Halliburton’s.
Albin told the jury about returning to the apartment March 20 and being unable to get in. Halliburton stepped out and offered officers a tool, then showed them a trick to break in through the lock, allowing the officers to get in. Albin described a puncture wound on Halliburton’s palm, one Halliburton said was caused by a cat. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker began to question Albin about the discovery of the DVD player stolen from Kiska’s apartment a month before her death, but Halliburton’s attorney, Cliff Williams, objected. Halliburton pleaded guilty to possessing that stolen property, and Williams voiced concern that if jurors learn of that, it might color their opinions in this case.
The jury didn’t hear about it, and under Williams’ questions, Albin conceded that there were no fingerprints in the apartment and no DNA connecting Halliburton to the crime.
Jurors are expected to hear testimony today, though, that Halliburton incriminated himself. His former girlfriend and inmates who were housed in the same jail ward as Halliburton are scheduled to testify, as is Jacob Callihan, Kiska’s fiance who is raising both children.
Prosecutors believe that when Kiska walked into her apartment, she found Halliburton burglarizing it, the second burglary in a month.
According to an affidavit by Albin, Halliburton told another jail inmate she’d walked in on him and come after him with a knife, so he punched her, took the knife and stabbed her.
If Halliburton is convicted of her murder, the jury will then be tasked with whether to recommend he spend life in prison without parole.